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Series / Life's Too Short

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We've worked with some of the world's best actors ... and Warwick Davis!

Single camera Sitcom starring Warwick Davis as a little person who has appeared in a number of recognizable franchises, runs a talent agency for short actors, and thanks to his astonishingly incompetent accountant, owes £250,000 in income tax. Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the story revolves around Davis' attempts to earn money, his wacky encounters with other celebrities, and his persistent belief that people should recognize him on the street.

This show provides examples of:

  • Adam Westing:
    • Essentially everybody you recognize, including Warwick.
    • Ironically enough, Val Kilmer as well.
  • Banana Peel: Warwick slips on one after climbing out of a bin in the third episode.
  • The Cameo: Just like in Extras, every episode involves Davis meeting a well-known celebrity, which never ends well.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Liam Neeson's attempts at improv comedy always end being about contracting AIDS from an African prostitute. The one time he does tell a funny bit, it turns out it wasn't a joke and Neeson's offended by them chuckling. Johnny Depp is a little better, but not great.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: By the end of every episode, Warwick has lost thousands of dollars, is hated by even more people, and has embarrassed himself in a variety of new ways.
  • Cooked to Death: Warwick's accountant muses that, because Warwick is so short, he could just turn his oven on and get inside if he ever wanted to commit suicide.
  • Cringe Comedy: What else would you expect from the guys who brought us The Office?
    • The peak of this is perhaps the instance in which Warwick finally tracks down the internet troll plaguing him online, only to find that he's a high-school student confined to a wheelchair. You can literally see Warwick's face drop with horror.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Warwick having his peephole moved to his eye level, not realizing that all he'd be able to do is look at people's groins.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Warwick interrupts a Best Man's speech with a series of jokes that play well, until he suggests that the couple is getting married due to an unplanned pregnancy. Turns out she can't have children.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: A Running Gag for Warwick is the public's inability to recognize him despite his work in film and acting agency.
  • Dumb Blonde: Warwick's moronic PA Cheryl, though technically she is bottle blonde. At a brainstorming session about jobs her first suggestion is for Warwick to become a chimney sweep because no one would object to an adult rather than a child doing that job. She then has to ask him whether or not he is an adult.
  • Expy: Warwick has most of the same mannerisms and personality traits of David Brent. He also has a well-meaning but unbelievably dumb girl to cause trouble for him, and an accountant who's terrible at his job and doesn't take anything seriously. Johny Depp calls him out on it,
    "I hear that Ricky Gervais quit Twitter recently because it only has 140 characters. Well that's 139 more characters than he's ever come up with."
  • Gone Horribly Right: Warwick sets up Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Barry from EastEnders as a pub-circuit variety act. Amazingly, they turn out to be a big hit. So much so, in fact, that they ditch Warwick as manager in favour of one with better contacts.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A running theme of Warwick complaining about anti-dwarf prejudice, only to be even more insensitive to them himself. For instance, when he goes on a blind date and obsesses over her being a dwarf, to the point that it almost ruins the date.
  • Improv Comedy Is Inane: Liam Neeson insists on trying improv comedy, but keeps reusing the same bit about contracting AIDS from an African prostitute, with his one funny joke not actually being intended as a joke.
  • Jerkass: Val Kilmer is presented as an absolute sponge who cons Warwick into raising $5000 to fund his ridiculous spending habits, then dashes out of a restaurant whilst leaving Warwick to pay the bill.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Gervais complains about Steve Carell becoming a bigger star than him from something that he created, to which Warwick tells him Steve has a likability factor while Ricky is an acquired taste, then illustrates that by saying that his accountant hated Extras because "just the way it was a sitcom where famous people pop up as themselves." There's a beat of silence after this.
  • Mockumentary: Mostly just the first episode. The rest of series has the odd Talking Heads cutaway or reference to there being a camera-man, but plays out more like a normal sitcom.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Lampshaded; when Liam Neeson asks how Ricky gets away with this trope, and Stephen just says they don't know.
  • Only in It for the Money: Warwick is desperate for any role, no matter how demeaning, to pay off his back taxes.
  • invokedProduction Posse: Tim Burton's posse is referenced with his film-within-a-show, which stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Lampshaded. When Liam Neeson asks Ricky and Stephen for advice on how to become a stand-up comedian, he attempts a joke that revolves around AIDS. Stephen tells him that the subject matter is a bit too heavy.
    Liam: Yeah, but he tells jokes like that all the time. (points to Ricky) How come he can do it?
    Stephen: We don't know.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear:
    Warwick: "Emma? Warwick Davis. Warwick Davis from Harry Potter? Professor Flitwi - yeah, 'the dwarf.'"
  • Slapstick: Supplied by Warwick Davis as he tries to go about his life.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Warwick.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Warwick sets up a personal website with a comments section. When one person makes a negative comment (out of several flattering ones, no less), Warwick tracks him down to his school and publicly shames the kid...before seeing that he's a paraplegic and thus can't defend himself from the hordes of bullies Warwick has now subjected him to.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Extras, Gervais and Merchant's earlier BBC/HBO show with constant Adam Westing and Comedic Sociopathy
  • Those Two Guys: Ricky and Stephen play themselves as this.
  • Trivially Obvious: Warwick convinces Ricky and Steve to write a quote for him to use on his website. The page quote is what they come up with.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Nothing ever really goes right for Warwick. Almost every episode features him getting screwed over or publicly embarrassed. Still, its usually his own fault.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Most of the little people in the show have regular sounding British accents that could easily fit on average sized people despite their small stature.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Warwick's clients at Dwarves For Hire are dismayed at his belief that they are better off without him, and convince him to stay.